Black property owner William Hedges arrives in Seattle in 1864.

  • By Helen Lacy
  • Posted 11/06/1998
  • Essay 232
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In about 1864, William Hedges (d. 1871) arrives in Seattle. He becomes the African American who owns the most property during the territorial years.

Illiterate and probably a fugitive slave, he purchased and leased property in several areas of the city, including 47 acres on Green Lake, four acres on Capitol Hill, and a lot on the northwest corner of 4th Avenue S facing Washington Street.

He died in 1871, leaving his property to his children who lived in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Sources: Esther Hall Mumford. Seattle's Black Victorians, 1852-1901 (Seattle: Ananse Press, 1980), 103, 104.

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